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Protocol for extramedullary hematopoiesis in patients with transfusion‐dependent β‐thalassemia (TDT): A systematic review

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Version 2 2023-03-20, 10:17
Version 1 2023-03-16, 06:23
journal contribution
revised on 2023-03-20, 10:14 and posted on 2023-03-20, 10:17 authored by Fateen Ata, Eihab A. Subahi, Hassan Choudry, Mohamed A. Yassin

Background and aims

Thalassemia is one of the most common hemoglobinopathies, with around 5% of the world's population expected to have some degree and type of thalassemia. Beta thalassemia (BT) occurs due to a deficient production of the beta-globin chain of hemoglobin. Extramedullary hematopoiesis (EMH) is one of the complications of BT, mainly observed in minor/intermedia subtypes. EMH is the production of blood cells outside the marrow as a compensatory response to longstanding hypoxia. Due to chronic transfusions, it is not expected in patients with beta-thalassemia major (BTM). However, there are increasingly reported cases of EMH in BTM. The incidence of EMH in BTM is thought to be <1%. However, it seems that the true incidence is much higher than expected. This review aims to pool the available data and provide cumulative evidence on the reports of EMH in BTM patients.


We aim to conduct a systematic review via searching multiple electronic databases (PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar) to identify eligible articles from any date up to December 2020. Eligible studies should report extramedullary hematopoiesis in BTM. Case reports, case series, observational studies with cross-sectional or prospective research design, case-control studies, and experimental studies will be included if found relevant. Two reviewers (FA and ES) will individually analyze the study quality using the statistical methodology and categories guided by the Cochrane Collaboration Handbook, PRISMA guidelines, and Joanna Briggs Institute checklist for case reports and series.


This study will analyze and incorporate the available evidence on EMH in BTM concerning patient demographics, sites of EMH, management, and clinical outcomes of EMH.


By summarizing and statistically analyzing the data about EMH in BTM, this study will generate extensive knowledge on the topic for a better understanding of atypical presentations in BTM, a common hemoglobinopathy.

Other Information

Published in: Health Science Reports
See article on publisher's website:



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2021

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Medical Corporation
  • National Center for Cancer Care and Research (Hamad Medical Corporation)

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